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The Seattle Sockeyes – Updated Odds on Seattle’s NHL Team Name

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NHL Hockey

Updated Apr 8, 2020 · 11:32 AM PDT

Seattle will soon be home to a new NHL team. Photo by CommunistSquared (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Oddsmakers are listing Sockeyes as the favorite to be the nickname of Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise
  • Totems and Emeralds are other top contenders
  • Seattle is slated to join the NHL for the 2021-22 season

A century ago, the Seattle Metropolitans played in the Stanley Cup final.

Seattle is two years away from getting its NHL expansion franchise. Sooner than that, we should know what the team will be called.

Oddsmakers have updated the prop wager on the team’s nickname. Sockeyes is now the odds-on favorite.

What Will the Team Name of Seattle’s NHL Franchise Be?

Team Name of Seattle NHL Franchise Odds
Sockeyes -200
Totems +450
Emeralds +550
Rainiers +900
Renegades +2000
Kraken +2500
Seals +2500
Sea Lions +2500
Evergreens +3500
Firebirds +3500
Cougars +3500
Eagles +3500
Whales +3500

*Odds taken 04/08/19.

Ownership of the Seattle NHL franchise have also yet to reveal the team’s logo or color scheme.

The Seattle Sockeyes?

A little over a year ago, the Seattle NHL ownership group registered 38 domain names.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman visited Seattle in January. He dropped hints that Sockeyes and Steelheads were the frontrunners under consideration for the team nickname.


Chief Executive Officer and Team President Tod Leiweke also seemed to be hinting that the club was leaning toward Sockeyes.

Leiweke persistently has pointed out that Sockeyes was the most popular choice suggested by readers in a newspaper poll conducted by the Seattle Times. That chosen handle garnered 37,543 out of over 140,000 votes.

People also took note that all of the club’s handouts bore a red-and-black color scheme and wondered whether that was an indication of to what to look for in the team’s future uniform design.

Metropolitans Wouldn’t Work

In 1916-17, the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association became the first American-based team to win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Canadiens in the final series.

The Mets, as they were also known, played in further Stanley Cup finals in 1918-19 and 1919-20. The team ceased to exist in 1924.

It might be romantic to connect to Seattle’s hockey heritage in much the same manner that the Ottawa Senators did when they entered as an expansion franchise in 1992. But it would be problematic. The NHL already has a Metropolitan Division.

On a positive note, this guarantees the 1962 New York Mets, who went 42-120, will maintain their status as the worst expansion team known as the Mets.

Totems Would Be Traditional

From 1958-75, Seattle’s minor-pro franchise in the Western and Central Leagues was known as the Totems.  Americans, Eskimos, Bombers, and Indians are other nicknames utilized by Seattle pro teams.

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Totems was the early favorite, but trademark issues, combined with the potential for it being considered a handle offensive to First Nations groups, make it an unlikely winner.

The Verdict

There’s so much that Sockeyes has to offer. The sockeye salmon is native to the area. It presents the opportunity to come up with a catchy logo and creates an obvious mascot costume.

It’s a marketing dream, and that’s why it will be the winner.

Pick: Sockeyes (-200)

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